Tag: CST-100Page 3 of 13

NASA Cargo Resupply Decision Set for Next Week

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Cygnus and ISS robotic arm (Credit: NASA)

Cygnus and ISS robotic arm (Credit: NASA)

On Nov. 5, NASA will announce contracts worth up to $14 billion to fly cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) for 2018 until 2024.

Four companies reportedly remain in the Commercial Resupply Services 2 competition: incumbents Orbital ATK and SpaceX, and challengers Boeing and Sierra Nevada Corporation. Lockheed Martin has been reportedly eliminated from the competition.

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Commercial Crew Marks Year of Progress

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The astronauts who will train for the first Commercial Crew Program flight tests are Doug Hurley, Eric Boe, Bob Behnken and Sunita "Suni" Williams. (Credit: NASA)

The astronauts who will train for the first Commercial Crew Program flight tests are Doug Hurley, Eric Boe, Bob Behnken and Sunita “Suni” Williams. (Credit: NASA)

By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

A year after awarding landmark contracts to Boeing and SpaceX to build a new generation of human-rated space systems, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program has made great strides to re-establish America’s capability to launch astronauts to the International Space Station. Both companies are constructing the infrastructure needed to safely launch and operate crew space transportation systems. They also have offered detailed refinements to their designs and begun building the test vehicles that will be put through extreme analysis before their flight test regimens begin.

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Boeing Paints Giant Starliner Mural on Building

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Mural on Starliner assembly building. (Credit: NASA)

Mural on Starliner assembly building. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — The new face of the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility (C3PF) is complete. Workers placed the finishing touches of the building-sized mural on the rounded edges of the former Orbiter Processing Facility-3 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida earlier this week.

The image of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner orbiting above Florida highlights the C3PF’s role as the assembly and processing home for the company’s next-generation human-rated spacecraft. The Starliner is being built in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to re-establish America’s ability to launch astronauts to the International Space Station from Florida’s Space Coast.

Spacecraft built in the C3PF will be launched into space from nearby Space Launch Complex-41 aboard United Launch Alliance Atlas V rockets. NASA also is working with SpaceX on the Crew Dragon to take astronauts to the station.

Starliner Crew Access Tower Takes Shape at the Cape

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Starliner crew access tower (Credit: NASA)

Starliner crew access tower (Credit: NASA)

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (NAASA PR) — The first new Crew Access Tower at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida since the Apollo era will take shape at Space Launch Complex-41 in the coming days as workers moved the first two tiers from a nearby construction yard to the pad surface. The tiers will be lifted into place atop each other at the foot of the launch pad starting next week.

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Starliner Crew Access Tower Takes Shape at the Cape

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CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (Boeing PR) — Amid a busy launch pad within a site with a celebrated space heritage, a sign of a new era in human spaceflight is climbing upward in the Cape Canaveral skyline.

The Boeing Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 Starliner spacecraft crew access tower is in the midst of construction at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Crews are building a seven-tiered metal latticework structure at Space Launch Complex 41 and will begin stacking once complete, between ULA’s busy launch schedule. The tower, which is more than 200-feet tall, will take astronauts to the top of an Atlas V rocket equipped with Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner.

Boeing's Commercial Crew Access Tower will have seven metal latticework tiers and will stand over 200ft tall once complete. (Credit: Boeing)

Boeing’s Commercial Crew Access Tower will have seven metal latticework tiers and will stand over 200ft tall once complete. (Credit: Boeing)

“In the end, we are going to have a very safe, very effective and very cost efficient way of getting astronauts back and forth to low earth orbit,” said Chris Ferguson, director of Boeing Crew and Mission Operations. The overall effort is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program that will transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

Boeing Revamps Production Facility for Starliner Flights

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Starliner_in_space
By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Meet the CST-100 Starliner, the newly unveiled name of Boeing’s commercial crew transportation spacecraft. It’s been designed with a focus on automated flight, reliable operation and frequent flights carrying NASA astronauts to the space station. It also may take paying customers to the awe-inspiring heights of low-Earth orbit and the unique sensation of sustained weightlessness.

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Boeing to Open Processing Facility at KSC

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Concept of the floor of the CST-100 assembly facility that Boeing envisions at Kennedy Space Center. (Credit: Boeing)

Concept of the floor of the CST-100 assembly facility that Boeing envisions at Kennedy Space Center. (Credit: Boeing)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will participate in the grand opening of The Boeing Company’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday, Sept. 4. The event will air live on NASA Television beginning at 10 a.m. EDT.

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CST-100 Structure Test Article Domes Arrive at KSC

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Pressure dome for CST-100 structural test article. (Credit: Boeing)

Pressure dome for CST-100 structural test article. (Credit: Boeing)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — The first two domes that will form the pressure shell of the Structural Test Article, or STA, for Boeing’s CST-100 spacecraft have arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

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NASA Selects 4 Astronauts to Train for First Commercial Spaceflights

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NASA has selected experienced astronauts Robert Behnken, Eric Boe, Douglas Hurley and Sunita Williams to work closely with The Boeing Company and SpaceX to develop their crew transportation systems and provide crew transportation services to and from the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

NASA has selected experienced astronauts Robert Behnken, Eric Boe, Douglas Hurley and Sunita Williams to work closely with The Boeing Company and SpaceX to develop their crew transportation systems and provide crew transportation services to and from the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected four astronauts to train and prepare for commercial spaceflights that will return American launches to U.S. soil and further open up low-Earth orbit transportation to the private sector. The selections are the latest major milestone in the Obama Administration’s plan to partner with U.S. industry to transport astronauts to space, create good-paying American jobs and end the nation’s sole reliance on Russia for space travel.

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Aitech to Provide Components, Services for Boeing’s CST-100 Spacecraft

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Chris Ferguson of The Boeing Company works through scenarios inside the cockpit simulator of the CST-100 under development. (Credit:  NASA/Bill Stafford)

Chris Ferguson of The Boeing Company works through scenarios inside the cockpit simulator of the CST-100 under development. (Credit: NASA/Bill Stafford)

CHATSWORTH, Calif. (Aitech PR) – Aitech Defense Systems Inc. was recently awarded a contract by The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] to provide space-grade products and services to support the Commercial Crew Transportation System (CCTS) and Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft, part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Aitech has been commissioned to develop and produce the crew interface system computer and displays used to physically control and maneuver the capsule.  The new subsystem, consisting of a display computer, pilot and copilot displays and keypads, gives the space crew reliable, precision control of the craft using the pilots’ rotational and translational hand controllers.

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Paragon Awarded CST-100 Contract

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Boeing CST-100 docking at ISS. (Credit: Boeing)

Boeing CST-100 docking at ISS. (Credit: Boeing)

TUCSON, Ariz. (Paragon PR) – Paragon was recently awarded a contract by The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] to provide services to support their Crew Space Transportation System (CCTS) and Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft. Specifically, Paragon will provide the CST-100 Humidity Control Subassembly (HCS) for cabin atmospheric humidity control.

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Boeing Uses Langley Expertise for CST-100 Crew Vehicle

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A CST-100 mock up splashes down during a test at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., during tests of the Boeing spacecraft's handling. (Credit: NASA/Dave Bowman)

A CST-100 mock up splashes down during a test at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., during tests of the Boeing spacecraft’s handling. (Credit: NASA/Dave Bowman)

by Sasha Congiu
NASA’s Langley Research Center

Whether testing a model of the Boeing CST-100 capsule in a wind tunnel or dropping it in water, researchers and engineers have one common goal: astronaut safety. That’s because safety is a top priority for systems under development in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to launch crews to the International Space Station from America.

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Space Symposium Briefs: Stratolaunch, Falcon 9, CST-100, UAE to Mars & Lunar Bases

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Gwynne Shotwell

Gwynne Shotwell

I’ve been monitoring the Twittersphere for news out of the 31st Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo. There have been a few interesting items of note:

  • Stratolaunch President Chuck Beames says the company is considering other air-launch rockets in addition to the one being built by Orbital ATK for use with its massive six engine carrier aircraft. The Orbital ATK rocket is for medium payloads but won’t be ready for several years. Stratolaunch is looking at smaller rockets that could be developed more rapidly and help with more near-term revenue.
  • SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell says the company’s next attempt to recover a Falcon 9 first stage may occur over land rather than on a barge at sea. SpaceX is building landing facilities at Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg Air Force Base.
  • Boeing plans to reveal the crew of its first CST-100 flight test this summer. The crew for the planned 2017 test will include one Boeing test pilot and one NASA astronaut.
  • The new United Arab Emirates Space Agency decided to launch a spacecraft to Mars in 2020 because sending an orbiter to the moon is too easy. The space agency, which was formed only last July, has yet to define the mission to the Red Planet or select international partners.
  • Current DLR Chairman Johann-Dietrich Wörner would really like to see the establishment of a base on the far side of the moon to enable radio astronomy. Wörner is set to take over had head of ESA in several months.

Boeing’s Commercial Crew Launchers Begin to Take Shape at ULA

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Boeing’s Chris Ferguson said the first two Atlas V’s to launch the CST-100 will have a parking spot on United Launch Alliance’s factory floor in Decatur soon. (Credit:  ULA)

Boeing’s Chris Ferguson said the first two Atlas V’s to launch the CST-100 will have a parking spot on United Launch Alliance’s factory floor in Decatur soon. (Credit: ULA)

By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

The codes AV-073 and AV-080 may not mean much to many, but they mean a whole lot to former astronaut Chris Ferguson and the team of engineers and technicians who will assemble the first Atlas V rocket to launch a crew to the International Space Station. That test and a precursor flight without crew are part of the final development work Boeing is completing with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to certify a new crew transportation system for low-Earth orbit.

On its factory floor in Decatur, Alabama, United Launch Alliance, or ULA, is beginning to fabricate parts for the two rockets that are to launch Boeing’s CST-100 spacecraft in 2017.

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Battle Heats Up for Next Round of ISS Supply Contracts

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Cygnus and ISS robotic arm (Credit: NASA)

Cygnus and ISS robotic arm (Credit: NASA)

It appears as if at least five companies have submitted bids for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract to send cargo ships to the International Space Station.

The Washington Post reports current cargo shippers Orbital ATK and SpaceX have been joined in the bidding by Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Sierra Nevada Corporation. NASA is likely to once again award two contracts for a series of supply missions.

Boeing is working on its CST-100 spacecraft to send human crews to the station. Lockheed Martin recently tested the Orion deep-space capsule it is building for NASA. And Sierra Nevada Corporation has its Dream Chaser shuttle.

Meanwhile, NASA has awarded contracts for four more cargo flights to the space station under an extension of its existing CRS program. SpaceX will fly three additional missions using its Dragon cargo ship; Orbital ATK will get one more flight of the Cygnus freighter.